By Angie Nkuna
LIMPOPO – A week long sting operation by the Hawks’ serious corruption investigation unit in collaboration with the department of economic development, environment and tourism has culminated in the arrest of nine suspects for alleged corruption and fraud.
The first case, five suspects – four officials from the department of economic development, environment and tourism (liquor license board) and police officer from SAPS-Tubatse (designated police officer) were arrested following allegations that they were approving, and issued liquor licenses without following due processes.
“The five allegedly colluded between 2012 and 2017 and demanded huge bribes from potential applicants. All the suspects were summoned to appear at Praktiseer and Sekhukhune magistrate court on 14 December 2018 to face charges of corruption and fraud.
Limpopo HAWKS spokesperson, Matimba Maluleke says “the second incident saw the arrest of a deputy director at Kutama Senthumule correctional centre and his accomplice for alleged fraud and corruption in Thohoyandou and Polokwane respectively.
“It was found that the deputy director who is a procurement officer at the correctional centre colluded with his accomplice, a businesswoman from Polokwane. They allegedly overpriced goods exorbitantly in return for kickbacks. The pair is expected to appear at Makhado magistrate court on 11 December 2018.
“In Morebeng, prosecutor Molatelo Herbert Serumule (46) was arrested at his work place for alleged corruption, fraud and defeating the ends of justice.
“It is alleged that Serumule approached a suspect and demanded a bribe in order to make his case vanish. The first payment was made and indeed the case was allegedly withdrawn. It is however alleged that Serumule demanded the outstanding balance and the Hawks were alerted resulting in his arrest on Monday 19 November 2018.
“Serumule has since appeared at the magistrate’s court of Morebeng and he was released on R1000 bail and his case was postponed to 18 January 2019.
“Lastly, a 33 year old woman, a cleaner at Mecklenburg Hospital was also arrested for corruption. In 2015 the department of health in Limpopo province advertised different posts and the suspect seize the opportunity to allegedly swindle job seekers.
“The suspect allegedly approached one of the applicants and promised to secure her employment at a cost. The victim allegedly paid a deposit with expectations of a job which never materialised.
“A dissatisfied victim reported the matter to the authorities who alerted the Hawks. The Hawks investigation resulted in the arrest of the suspect who was also summoned to appear at Praktiseer magistrate court on 12 December 2018”, concluded Maluleke.